China on Wednesday sent a new data transmission satellite into orbit from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwest China’s Sichuan Province. The Tianlian II-03 satellite was launched early by a Long March 3B carrier rocket.
Tianlian II-03, the second generation of China’s geosynchronous data transmission satellite, will provide data transmission, telemetry, tracking and command services for manned spacecraft and low and medium orbit resource satellites.
It will also support telemetry, tracking and command services needed to launch spacecraft.
Developed by the China Academy of Space Technology, Tianlian II-03 is China's second-generation geosynchronous orbit data relay satellite.
After entering its preset orbit, the newly launched satellite will create a global network with in-orbit Tianlian II-01 and Tianlian II-02.
A relay satellite functions as a space-based data transfer station. China's Tianlian satellites mainly support data relay and TT&C for its spaceships, space labs and space station currently under construction.
They have helped accomplish major missions such as Earth-space conversations, spacecraft rendezvous and docking, space classes and spacewalks.
This was the 426th flight mission of the Long March carrier rocket series.